The first time I listened to an audiobook was when The Hunger Games came out. People were raving about the book, but the hold list on ten copies at my library was crazy long. The audiobook was available right away so downloaded, but hated it. The narrator spoke too slowly, I was easily distracted so I had to go back and listen to parts of it over again, and I felt totally disconnected. I quit after about an hour.
(Side note: I ended up checking out a hard copy of The Hunger Games a few months later and still didn't like it so I returned it without finishing. When I saw a trailer for the movie I got excited about it, bought the trilogy, and read all of them in a week. I still don't know why it took me so long to like the first book. Dystopian YA is not my thing, but those books are pretty great.)
A few years later, I thought I'd try again and downloaded another buzzy book, Room. I couldn't handle it at all. The narrator had an annoying kid voice and spoke way too slowly, so I stopped after ten minutes. (I recently read this book and enjoyed it much more in my own head.)
Jacob and I are senior citizens and sometimes listen to NPR and news radio when we're in the car without the kids. I've also listened to This American Life when an episode is recommended to me. But I still scoffed at the idea of listening to an audiobook. Last fall I got hooked on Serial, just like the rest of the country, but because I'm ALWAYS with my kids I didn't have much time to listen to it. I had it on in the car while running errands by myself, but also stretched out on the couch at night with headphones on because I had to know what was going to happen. The best thing I discovered with this podcast was the speed adjustment on my phone. I'm a fast talker, probably too fast for most people, and lose my patience with slow (and quiet) talkers, so the ability to change the speed was life changing. Not only did I listen to Sarah Koeing's slow, calm voice at my speed (2x as fast), but it also helped me get through the podcast quicker.
I drive alone at night a few times a month, coming home from Seattle after concerts or musicals. I always listen to music and sometimes call friends, but I felt like another podcast would fill my time better. I asked Twitter what I should listen to, but none of the recommendations came close to Serial for me. Someone told me to try audiobooks instead. I was hesitant, but with knowledge of the speed adjustment, I decided to give it another try. I downloaded, Ashley's War, thinking a non-fiction book might work better for me. I loved it! I was totally engrossed in the story and immediately downloaded two more non-fiction books.
Since then I've listened to two fiction books too. They were a little harder to focus on, probably because they are so descriptive and have more characters, but I'm digging the listening process. I put on my bluetooth headphones and do chores around the house and still listen in the car when I'm alone. I'm breezing through them! The best thing is that the hold list for audiobooks at my library is always so much shorter than ebooks and hard copies. Score!
Are you into audiobooks?